The Selection

General, The Selection


Here’s the thing about authors: we are not movie stars. I do not have a hard time remembering what Rob Pattinson looks like because his gorgeous, glorious, delicious face is everywhere. I know what he looks like. I also might dream about him a little bit... So, yeah, I could pick him out of a lineup. Easy.

We are also not rock stars. Musicians have it slightly harder than actors, because I can love a band (like The Fray) and not even know the lead singer’s name (truth). And if he walked past me this afternoon, I’d have no clue it was him. Music videos get way less action these days, and even if the CD has the band’s picture on the front, it doesn’t matter because you probably bought the MP3. And MP3s are made of space magic. But sometimes you just know who someone is. Britney Spears, for example. Can’t miss her if you try.

Authors are not like that. We are not movie stars or rock stars. We are word stars. That’s what people know. They know our words, our characters. We have a special kind of fame. You could be a New York Times Bestseller and still go to the grocery store without anyone giving a crap what you wore. And thank goodness for that.

This is how it is. Since book covers have pictures of pretty girls on them or fruit or whatever as opposed to the author’s face, I don’t know every author. Not even all the YA ones.

But isn’t that okay? Shouldn’t our characters be the big deal? I mean, I look at The Selection and know my characters are way more interesting than me. You should totally be paying attention to them. If anything, I’m just a pawn in their sick games. Wakey, wakey, Kiera! We have a story for you to tell! We’re going to make you crazy about it! Weeeeee!

Yeah, that’s pretty much how it goes. You should know.

So, I give you permission to not recognize me. I give you permission to not know I self-published a book before The Selection or that I make videos on youtube. In fact, I give you permission to not give a crap about me at all. At the end of the day, I don’t really matter so much.


I hope with all my heart that you do know my characters. I hope you love them! I hope you stay up nights thinking about them and consider getting things they say tattooed on you somewhere and make quizzes to figure out which one you’re the most like. These are my deepest wishes.

I’m a word star. I hope you like my words. If you happen to like/know/tweet at me, that’s a perk. But I’m totally fine without it.

The Selection

My trip to HarpterTeen by the numbers

Number of places that advertised angus bulls for sale: 1

Number of times I considered getting an angus bull for a pet: 9

Number of jack-o-lanterns sitting on pedestals by the side of the road: 1

Number of dead deer by the side of the road: 34

Number of times that froke me out because I hit a deer this year: 34

Number of ferry rides: 2

Number of quarters Elana gave me to ride the bus: 9

Number of CDs that comprise the Twilight audio book: 11

Number of CDs I made it through: 9.2

Number of little red velvet cupcakes I devoured: 1… shockingly

Number of awesome things I heard about the future of The Selection: A GAZILLION!

I had a seriously fantastic time hanging with my agent, editor, and all the brilliant minds at HarperTeen. I’m kind of nerd, and I was already amped up, and then they gave me caffeine so it was a bit of a blur. But! I did feel completely welcomed and at home. Seriously, I think I could pitch a tent in the conference room and be totally fine living there.

Someone asked me how this compared to self-publishing, and the truth is… IT’S SO MUCH BETTER! Yes, I can sit and write and make a pretty okay story on my own. But they know how to make it sparkle on the inside, blind you with beauty on the outside, and then make it as easy as possible for people to know the book actually exists. It’s wonderful.

True story: When Elana had the book out on submission, I wondered where we might end up. I would look at the books on my shelf and think about the ones I’d like to share a home with. So many of them were my HarperTeen books. I didn’t really think it was possible for little ol’ me to be a part of such a giant banquet of awesome, but I’m sitting at the table, people. And it’s great. 

The Selection, contests

Cover Art Competition

Ok, when I announced this at the LAST POSSIBLE minute, I didn't expect to get much back, but you guys, AS ALWAYS, totally delivered. I just wanted to show some of my faves.

This one from Hannah gives that whole Cinderella vibe. Cinderella was part of what inspired this story, so I'm all about that. Also, the blue. I dig the blue. 


This one from Allison is so whimsical and lovely! Also, I dig the dress! And there's something both uplifting and isolating about the picture, which I just plain old like.

This pile of crazy comes from Liz. As the other half of the twicurls Liz. Yeah, she pulled out the old Victoria wig and did this for me. Because she's read the book, she put special things in this... but it basically looks like America drang a jar full of moonshine and passed out. I love it, but because of Liz's close, personal relationship, she can't win. Which leads me to...


Now, I had to make it small enough to fit, so I don't know if you can make out the writing on the back. But honestly, that doesn't even matter! I'm all over this idea. Kayla did this, and I'm shocked by how much she nailed! I think it's mysterious, as is the true cover, and without even knowing of America's songbird necklace, there are birds here, people. Birds! And then this sense of longing it gives. Yeah. This one wins! Congrats, Kayla, a signed ARC will be heading your way soon!

Thanks to everyone who participated! They were incredible, and I can't believe how talented you all are!



The Selection

Building the Cover Art

If you somehow missed me screaming from the rooftops about my awesome cover art for The Selection, here it is:

I am completely in love with it and can’t believe it’s really mine and that I’m finally allowed to share it with you. I know you can’t see the spine on this puppy, but let me tell you, that’s beautiful too! The whole thing is great, including the words inside if you ask me, and I’m just giddy about it all. Ahhhhhh!

If you’re like me, you’re probably curious as to how cover art actually comes to be. Like, how did this get chosen? Well, let me first say that authors do not get to pick their cover art. Trust me when I say, this is for the best. There are teams of people whose job it is to understand what’s eye-catching and makes sense. And thank goodness for that!

But I did get to have some input. What feels like a million years ago, Elana, Erica, and I sent a round of emails back and forth about any ideas we had concerning the cover art. I’d always had this picture in my head of the books each having a significant image from the story on the cover. For the first book, that was, to me, the letter that America gets announcing the Selection. That’s what starts it all. So I sent out this TERRIBLE drawing of what appears to be a mustachioed redhead reading a letter with possibly broken fingers. Such shame! Ahhh!

And I had this now humiliating thought that the books should maybe be red, white, and blue since her name is America. Not, like, PRIMARY BURNING MY EYES red, but the red of her hair, and the white of the paper… things like that. Now, it just sounds corny.

  The other thought I had was for the covers to feature jewelry. Each book has a significant piece of jewelry, and I thought that would be cool for a dystopian since I haven’t seen too much of that. For the first book, it was America’s songbird necklace. If you go to the homepage, you’ll see there’s been something like that up here for a LONG time now. I wanted so badly to tie this site to the story without giving too much away. Anyway, while the jewelry idea was kind of cool, it just wasn’t right.

The one thing that seemed to strike all three of us were the covers for The Luxe series. You know, those sweeping gowns that cover the entire page in lovely colors? Well, yeah, we liked that. And it makes sense! America is going to this princess competition and ball gowns are her new work uniform. But The Luxe books are historical, and the covers take you back in time, making you think about a specific era before you even read the first page. So how do we make something like that translate for something that’s supposed to be in the future?

What we end up with is this beautiful, mysterious girl wearing a dress that’s clearly not from the past and also feels like it couldn’t be from today either. And the background feels like it goes on forever, sort of giving a futuristic feel without heading into a sci-fi vibe. The dress and the crown logo get the princess idea across, and the color, I feel, is quite striking. All in all, I think it makes you curious about this girl to the point that you would hopefully pick up the book and try to learn her story.

And I love it. I know I already said that, but deal with it, I do.

I have to give a huge thanks to everyone at HarperTeen, because it’s above and beyond anything I could hope for. So lovely!

And I have all the submissions for you designs for the cover art competition and will be post a winner this afternoon. That was so much fun! You guys are SOOOOO creative!

Anyway, I hope you like the final product and I can't wait for you to read it!

General, The Selection

Good Company (& Rad Names)

So I noticed something cool the other day. Well, it’s cool to me.

You see, I wrote this book… you might remember me talking about it? Anyway, it’s about princesses. Sort of. Well, it’s about royalty, I guess. And you might have heard that Shannon Hale, after something like five years, has made a sequel to The Princess Academy. It’s out next fall, I think. Then this chick, Cameron Dokey, has this book Once coming out in February. It’s a packaging of three new takes on old school fairytales. And then this girl who seriously has one of the most amazing names on the planet... Are you ready for this? Galaxy Craze. GALAXY CRAZE, people! Part of me thinks that has to be made up, but Peekaboo Street is a real name, so… Anyway. Her book, The Last Princess, is out in May.

Notice anything there?

Yeah, there’s a whole lot of princess coming up. This is just what I saw in an afternoon. And I have to admit, I’m pretty stoked about this! For the record, I don’t think this is a trend or anything. It could be, I guess, but I’m not smart enough to know. That’s not what this is about anyway. For me, it’s about company. I feel like there’s this wave of similar stories, so that if people like one of ours, there will be a lot of similar books out there at the same time. And you can get into ALL of them if you want! I don’t know why exactly, but this is comforting to me. Very. But, then again, I’m an odd girl.

Not that odd, though. My name isn’t GALAXY CRAZE! Seriously, isn’t that phenomenal? Ugh! I thought Kiera was such a cool name, and I’m totally jealous now.

And here’s where the post swerves completely off the map: If you could change your name, what would it be?

Besides Kiera Marie Pattinson (Oh, my love)… I think I’d go with Paradox Anne Cass. I’ve always thought x’s in names looked cool.

Your turn!

The Selection

Little Things

Going to the post office.

Rejection letters.

Sticky tabs.


Coffee shops.

Book shops.


Sitting in front of my netbook for hours.

Editorial letters.

Restocking pens.

Tiny notebooks.




Making swag.


Checking GoodReads.

And seeing my name or the title of my book ANYWHERE… but especially here.


These things are just part of what makes it all feel real. Six short months. Or 190 days if you’re as giddy as I am. Just sayin.

The Selection


You might remember a few months ago when I got a little down on my writing and made this video to pump myself back up...

Well, all I have to say is... the doubt is back. Now that I have my fist pass pages and am reading the whole thing aloud again, everytime I go to it I'm like "THIS SUCKS! NO ONE IS GOING TO WANT TO READ THIS PILE OF JUNK! THIS IS JUST GOING TO WIND UP BEING VERY EXPENSIVE TOILET PAPER! WHY, GOD, WHY DID I BOTHER TRYING TO PUBLISH THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE? NOOOOOOOO!"

I get a little dramatic.

Anyway, I say this to encourage you. I mean, it can't be absolute crap. This was the manuscript two agents wanted, was picked up by HarperFreakingCollins, is going to be translated into two different languages (to date), NYT bestellers are saying is lovely,  has drop-dead glorious cover art, and is still doing things for me while I'm off hanging out with Guy. It has to be slightly better liner for hamster cages, right?

Of course it is. I'm just freaking out because, like you, I'm normal.

One of the passing tests for a story (I think) is giving up on it. If you've got the ablitiy to say "this is bad and I will never touch it again" and then one day discover you're still in love with that project and are willing to put in the work to make it awesome... you have something good. My problem is that I hoped I'd be well past that with a publication date just around the corner.

The thing is, I think most people see authors as very confident. We've gone through several rounds of being validated to get to an actual book on shelves. That doesn't mean we still don't worry about what people think... what our parents will think, what YOU will think.

Yes, I'm nervous. These were stories that I wrote to entertain myself that are soon going to be in your hands. And you could hate them. I'm not sure I have much of a resolution for this except to say that I'm still crazy about The Selection and that (even with the nerves) I'm still very excited to share it with you. And I guess, in the end, it's okay if you think it sucks. I won't love it any less. :)

General, The Selection

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

I’ve always liked cartoons. I still love Sailor Moon, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and if I manage to catch an episode of Hey Arnold, I feel like my whole day is brighter. Cartoons are funny and entertaining, but with Guyden in my life I’ve been exposed to an entirely different brand of cartoons: educational-type. Not gonna lie, I’m not a big fan. Sometimes I’d rather set myself on fire than watch another episode of Special Agent Oso. He’s oh so special. No, that’s for real. Kill me.

One of the shows that we regularly catch is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Each day they have a new problem to solve and they have these little mouseketools they call for when they get in a pinch. Usually, there are four, and they’re all kind of random. A marshmallow, a vase, a blanket, and the *mystery mouseketool*! An elephant, a compass, an apple, and the *mystery mouseketool*!

You get the idea.

Well, there was an episode recently where one of these mouseketools was a giant piece of celery. My thought was that Minnie and Daisy, concerned with their girlish figures, would eat that as a healthy but tasteless snack at some point in the day, as long as the boys weren’t watching. But I was wrong. Goofy got stuck up on a cliff and they used the giant celery as a slide to get him down. Well played, Mickey, well played.

My point is, sometimes things that seem obvious aren’t. For me, I’ve been discovering this with some of my characters recently. Just last week, I handed over the draft of the second book in the Selection trilogy to my editor. I had a whole new adventure with America and, while I was pretty aware of the things she was going to do, I was a bit surprised by what some of her friends pulled out.

There’s one girl in particular who was SO sure I knew who she was, but after how things went down as the story continued, I had to ask myself why she acted the way she did. As I’m figuring that out, I feel a little bit closer to her than I did the first time I saw her in my head, walking in high heels across an airport terminal. And I like her more. I’m curious about how you will all feel about her.

There’s another girl who I kind of kept in play almost as a place keeper. I needed a certain number of girls at that point in the book, and I picked her. I had no idea how assertive she was or how she would push herself to the forefront, demanding attention, not just from me, but from the other characters.

Sometimes, it’s easy to let secondary characters just be devices, a means to an end for our main character to go through whatever it is they need to meet their goal. I know of people who actually use specific, classic character types with their main characters, because they’re trying to make literary points. Not that that’s not okay, but I don’t get it. Are you hoping schools will kick out Shakespeare and use your books one day? Just tell me the effing story!


All I’m saying is I think you have to let everyone in the book matter. If they have a name, they have a purpose. And it may not be the purpose you intended them for. Your stick of celery might just be a slide. My advice is to go with it. Honesty in storytelling is always the best. Not necessarily convenient, but still the best. And if it takes your story in a direction you weren’t planning, that’s okay, too. That’s why we have a backspace key. You can always fix something you don’t love, but you never know how much you might love what’s happening if you don’t let your characters actually speak.

The Selection

Music & Writing

So I’m a nerd for music. Used to be kind of a huge thing for me. FACT: In high school, when people asked what I wanted to be, I always said “a diva”. And I meant that in the “I’m a musical goddess” way. Not the “I’m spectacularly bitchy” way. Actually, if I whipped out my senior yearbook right now, half of signatures start “Dear Diva”. I was pretty determined. At the time.


Now I write books, a much better outlet for my creativity, but music still holds a dear place in my heart. Also, I live with Callaway and he likes Elbow, Radiohead, and the Beatles, so I’ve been exposed to lots of new sounds over the years. And I take all of these things and let them inspire me.

Last week in a blog post on Presenting Lenore, I was asked for a theme song for The Selection, and I gave what I feel kind of sums up America’s attitude about the whole Selection, which is Fairytale by Sara Bareilles.

I think that music can really make a scene happen, so I wanted to share some thoughts with you on using music for your stories.

  1. Don’t necessarily listen to music that you like. I think it helps to hear fresh lyrics and melodies, things that you might not think to pick up on your own. Stretch your ears! (BTW, thanks to all my twitter peeps who are sending mixed CDs!)
  2. Writer’s Butt is a real thing. Any chance you get to think on your feet, take it. Put in your headphones and take walk. The new sights will get your mind going, too. Bonus!
  3. Instead of making a playlist for your story, try making one for a character. If you’re trying to get someone’s voice right, put yourself in their head. If they like death metal, you need to get on that.
  4. I also like making mood mixes. I have ones for love, anger, and sadness. Some faves to get you started:

LOVE: Dark Blue by Jack’s Mannequin.

ANGER: The Pretender by Foo Fighters.

SADNESS: The Special Two by Missy Higgins.


I hope you enjoy! So, thoughts? Any favorite songs that just get your brain going?

General, The Selection

Why You Shouldn't Tell Me Things

All I want to know is how am I supposed to keep all these secrets for nearly four years? That’s ALL I want to know, people. Because I’ve been itching to just hand over The Selection to the world for months, and now that the second book is starting to take shape, all I can think about is the things I’ve hidden in these books. I wonder what you’ll guess by certain points. Have I made things too vague? Have I made them too obvious? And, either way, how am I supposed to resist talking about them until it’s all out there!? Gaaahhh! I don’t know how people do it.

I am terrible at keeping secrets. Do you know how much I hated my life when I found out I was pregnant while Callaway was in Taiwan, and I couldn’t tell a soul for two days because he HAD to be the first to know? TWO DAYS, people! I thought I would die. And now I’m staring at years in front of me with all these delicious secrets that no one gets to see but me. Well, and a handful of people behind the scenes, but that’s not nearly enough to satisfy me.

Sigh. I think this is a test from God.

General, The Selection

*does not have a million bucks*

I made a huge mistake the other day.

A friend shared a link to a blog about authors and advances and the general truth about how much we make (since everyone always wants to know). I followed this link, read some very helpful posts on the breakdown of a royalty statement, and relearned what I already knew about giving well-earned percentages to our agents and being stuck in a crappy tax situation because being an author puts you in the self-employed lot.

But after that, I clicked on, reading about seven-figure deals for two books in particular that I just plain old don’t care for… and that, my friends, is how I slipped into the terrible trap of comparing myself to other people.

It’s not that I’m complaining about my deal! I did way better than a lot of first-time authors out there, and I’m very grateful for what I have! It’s just now I’ve had to think about how I define my success, because, really, what is it? How do I ever know if I’m good at my job?

I mean, these books (both trilogies) got at least a million for their ideas. So they’re rich… wahoo! BUT! I thought they were kind of lame… so, boo?

Is money success? Is it books that are really popular? Maybe hitting the New York Times Bestseller List or having a small but cult-like following? Selling the movie rights or being translated into every language on the planet, even those people out in the middle of nowhere who communicate in series of clicks?

For a long time, I said the only thing I wanted was to catch someone I didn’t know reading my book in public. But I might not ever get that one. There are no subways to ride in Blacksburg, and since I’m home with Toddler Guy a lot, I don’t see people in coffee shops and the like very often. I suppose there’s always the airport, but if you catch me anywhere close to one of those, something miraculous has happened.

I also have a secret ambition that I don’t talk about a lot, but… I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to write a banned book. Oh! The glory of it! I want some punk to try and censor me SO BADLY! Aggggghhhh!

Ok. I’m done.

I say all this to say I don’t know. Maybe The Selection will explode and people will start naming their kids Tuesday and Amberly, camp out for midnight movie releases, and make incredible t-shirts proclaiming their love for my characters.

Maybe not.

So, for now, I’m just trying to think about that little spot on the YA shelf between Kristen Cashore and Kay Cassidy that is going to be mine in about a year. That’s a lot to be excited about! And I’m hoping that bit of shelf space will drown out all the other worries, because I really don’t want them to hang around. Seriously. And things will look so much different in a year that I’m betting all of those thoughts will be completely obsolete anyway. So… so yeah.

I’m curious in your thoughts on your success as a writer, wherever you are in the process. Please share!

General, Personal, The Selection, The Siren

YA Saves

So The Wall Street Journal has written an article about darkness in YA. And they aren’t happy. It seems they rarely are, but whatever. In the wake of this, Miss Maureen Johnson started a hashtag #yasaves and has asked people to share how YA has saved them. My story needs a bit more than 140 characters, but here it is:

I live in Blacksburg, Virginia. If you’ve heard of this town at all, it’s probably in reference to Virginia Tech and our fantastic football team. Go Hokies!

But about four years ago, we were famous for an entirely different reason. A gunman opened fire on our campus killing 32 people and himself. It devastated the school as well as the town. If you don’t live here, it’s kind of hard to explain how integrated the two are, but they’re both fluid and impress upon each other.

This is my home.

At the time, my husband worked on campus, my best friend lived on campus, and since we go to a campus-based church, nearly everyone I knew was a student. Even as a townie, I lost someone I knew. It’s hard to explain just what this did to me, and I know I’m not alone.

At first, I kept busy and did okay, but as the year passed, I was emotionally unstable. I would cry if I tried to experience any emotion. I cried at Disney World, I cried in church, I cried doing anything. I started forgetting things, and poor Callaway was in a constant state of repeating himself. I stopped smiling. I remember that now, just how little I smiled or laughed.

In the fall, I caved and went to a therapist, and she helped me find some things to give me order and routine. That worked a little, but the thing that helped the best was something I stumbled into accidentally.

Just after the first anniversary of the shootings, I was like “That’s it. I’m just going to write a story and give my problems to a character and see how she deals with them, because I can’t anymore.” And I did. But I never finished that story. A few weeks in, I woke up with the idea that would become The Siren. I wrote every day for a month to finish that story, and after that the idea for The Selection and a bunch of other little stories were born and are waiting their turn to be told.

The Siren has language, a near rape, assault, and thoughts of suicide. And it saved my life. It was my path back to normal. The Selection (pending editing) will have some heavy issues in parts of the trilogy too. It’s just part of the story. But now, a year out from publication, it has become something amazing and is already making people excited, and every second of this journey is a gift to me. It’s saving me.

Maybe YA is dark sometimes, sure. But you know what? A few months ago when I sat down and read Jennifer Brown’s Hate List, I felt comforted. I’m glad someone wrote that story, because I needed to read it. I felt stronger when I was done. And I’m 30.

It’s okay to talk about the bad stuff because the bad stuff is out there. It makes us weirdos feel not quite so weird. The lovely thing about this country is the right to not read or listen to or watch things we don’t want to. It’s freedom. So I’ll write what I want, and I’ll be stronger for it, and if you don’t want to read it… don’t.

The Selection

Author Pictures Part 2

So last week I asked about author picture dos and don'ts, and you were all very helpful! Last Friday, my friend Robbie of Highland Films took my pictures and it was a really interesting experience. When people wantes Twicurls pictures, Liz and I just hopped into my backyard, and for the cover of The Siren, I used a picture I took of myself when I just happened to be having a good hair day. Yeah, that's how I roll. Anyways, here's a video about my experience. Enjoy! And please stop by my Facebook Page to vote!

General, The Selection

Author Pictures

I just spent an hour trying to write about how I feel about taking my author pictures this Friday. When I got to the end and realized it was a strange mix of references to Scooby Doo and Hermione Granger, I decided to let it go and just ask for advice.

Tell me! Author pics you love? Author pics you hated? Any wisdom on not looking completely terrible? Any offers to do my makeup? Leave 'em in the comments.

General, The Selection, advice

Why I'm Nuts.

I’ve decided that if you want to be a writer, you have to be completely mental. Seriously. Go ahead and abandon any hope of being normal. If you’ve already done this thanks to torturous years in high school, congratulations. You’re off to a good start.

I say this because, if you choose to become a storyteller, you’re going to have to hang out with a wide range of imaginary friends. And if you have more than one story in yourself, this will be an array of people who all exist, but shouldn’t meet. Because that’s almost too odd. But it’s more than the fact that there are people living in your head, it’s the fact that you have to do what they say.

I recently had some complaints from Callaway over word choices in The Siren, and I had to lovingly explain to him that they just talk that way, it’s not my fault. I might be the one who dreamed up the world, but they are the ones who tell me how things go down. And while I might not be the kind of girl to drop an F-bomb into conversation on a day-to-day basis, one of my characters might be. If I try and censor them, the story just isn’t as good.

Also, sometimes it takes me several drafts of a story for them to even clue me in on what’s really going on. Just like people I meet in real life, I don’t always understand why they do things the way they do or why. I don’t know what’s going on in their heads or hearts. If it was all me, shouldn’t I already have known that detail? Shouldn’t I have known this person was going to be as important as they are or that these two people were in love the whole time or that this guy had a secret in his back pocket from the start? But I don’t!

I just found this vlog from August of 2009, right after The Siren came out. I was home a lot, busy growing a baby, and I was reworking The Selection because I loved the story. Now, it had been done for a while, but then I had to go back and change entire scenes because I realized that my main character, America, wasn’t who I thought she was. And when she started whispering in my ear “That’s not what I would do”, I had to go back a fix it. My responsibility is to take what these people have shared with me and hand it over as honestly as I can. They mean that much to me.

And that makes me 100% certifiable. No one in their right mind should admit to needing to honestly translate what their invisible friends are shouting in their head.

I’m finding myself in a similar place now. I’ve been with the first book in The Selection so long that if something shifts, I know what that means. I can make things flow because I’ve lived it with America for years. But as I start going over the second book— something that’s only been in a completed state for a few months— trying to figure out where it goes next, I’m a mess! I keep waiting for the moment when she explains everything saying “Don’t worry, Kiera. I did that for a reason.”

For now, I just have to continue to act like a kook and focus on the people walking inside my brain and hope that I can get it all down right. Because, weirdo that I am, it matters.